Gus MacDonald’s production of Arthur Miller’s All My Sons provided the perfect start to our 2017 Main House programme. Following on from the success of Gus’s last production, Juno and the Paycock, we were once again treated to an evening of actors performing at the top of their game. This production will be remembered long into the future and sums up exactly what the Loft Theatre is all about – the delivery of quality drama by a top drawer cast who are equally matched by the seemingly bottomless pool of new talent currently providing our backstage and technical services. There is only one drawback – the question of why less than 1000 people chose to come along and spend their evening watching this wonderful production. It is hugely frustrating, and the team deserved to play to far bigger houses!

Next up we have Sue Moore’s production of Temple, a relatively new play by Steve Waters about the 2011 anti-austerity protests and the impact of the Occupy London movement on the clerical hierarchy of St Paul’s Cathedral. The play premiered at the Donmar Warehouse in May 2015 with a cast that included Simon Russell Beale, and will likely leave you debating the issues it so cogently raises.

Temple Press 4

Temple, featuring Phil Reynolds   |     Photographer: Richard Smith


Following on from Temple, in early April we welcome Is This Seat Taken Productions to the Douglas Ford Studio with the world premiere of Steve Heath’s I didn’t think I was A Racist, but I killed a Romanian – a thought- provoking play directed by the hugely talented Greg Cole, and a study of how some justify and rationalise their perception of ‘The Other’!

Work is now well under way with our 2017/18 season, which sees the Loft returning to its more familiar format of 9 Main House shows. Following a summer of refurbishment – this time in the auditorium – the season will open in September with William Wilkinson’s production of the Anton Chekhov classic, The Cherry Orchard, and will be followed by a production of Noel Coward’s, The Vortex (see elsewhere in this programme and on the website for details of 2 nd April audition), which is to be directed by Michael Rolfe, who will be making his Loft Theatre debut. Unfortunately, due to the refurbishment work, we are unable to host our neighbours, Heartbreak Productions, this year, but I am hopeful that this will only be a ‘gap’ year, and that they will be returning to our stage sometime very soon.

Those who attended the recent AGM will be aware that after 6 years in post, I have decided to step down as Artistic Director in the near future, and once a seamless transition to my yet-to- be-named successor can be agreed. Having just delivered the record-breaking Oliver! and with increasing commitments away from the theatre, I am going to heed the old saying of “quit while you’re ahead”! It has been a huge pleasure to be the artistic lead for this wonderful theatre, but it is now time for somebody else to take the reins. As this may be my last column, I would like to take the opportunity to thank you all for your support over the years. It has been hugely appreciated, and in the not too distant future, I plan to continue working here again as both an actor and also director. But just for now……

Thank you and good night!

Best wishes

Tim                                      m – 07818 032752